College of Charleston Takes Two From Lafayette Baseball
March 21, 2003
CHARLESTON, S.C. (www.lafayette.edu) - The Lafayette baseball team lost both games of a doubleheader with the College of Charleston on Friday night at Patriots Point Field. After surrendering a 9-6 loss in the opener, Lafayette battled but dropped the nightcap, 9-8, with the winning run coming plateward in the bottom of the ninth.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Charleston (15-8) touched up Lafayette starter Joe Saporetti in the first inning. The No. 2 and 3 hitters Brett Spivey and Lee Curtis hit back-to-back home runs and two more runs came home, one on a ground out and the other on an RBI-single from Matt Hallett that gave Charleston a 4-0 advantage.
The Leopards (2-3) got two back in the top of the second. Senior captain Matt Tambellini reached on an error by the shortstop and later scored when junior Adam Rosenberg plated him with a single through the right side. Sophomore Adam Bucci moved Rosenberg to third before a Russ Giglio sac fly scored him to make it 4-2.
The long ball got the best of Lafayette again in the home half of third when Curtis connected for his second blast of the game, a two-run home run to left center that gave Charleston a 6-2 lead.
Lafayette closed the gap to three runs in the top of the fourth. Rosenberg connected for his second hit of the game, a streaking single to right to get the inning going. He then moved to second on a groundout before sophomore Rob Fioretti's two-out single brought him home to make it 6-3 at the end of three and a half innings.
Charleston extended its lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth. The Cougars led off with a single before Saporetti got the first out on a roller to second. He hit the next batter and gave way to reliever Tom Soldan. After getting a fly out and walking a batter, Soldan faced Curtis who drove in two more runs with a double. Curtis finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBI.
In the Lafayette eighth, the Leopards got some offensive production out of their freshman class. Head coach Joe Kinney sent Sean Lesser to bat for Eric Vacca. Lesser responded with an RBI-single. The hit plated Tambellini who had reached on a lead-off double. The score stood at 8-4.
Charleston took a run back a run on a sac fly in the eighth to make it 9-4.
The Leopards, however, did piece together a rally in their last at-bat. Freshman pinch hitter Ian Law got the inning going with a single and Boyd's walk put runners on first and second with one out. Charleston reliever Matt Soale then retired pinch hitter Matt Skellan for the second out of the inning. Soale then gave up back to back singles to Tambellini and Rosenberg to make it 9-6.
Charleston went to its bullpen, bringing in Tee Morris to face Adam Bucci with runners on first and second. Morris enticed Bucci to ground out to second to end the game.
Saporetti (1-1) was hit with his first loss of the season. He threw five and a third innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits, two strikeouts and a walk. Soldan threw one and two thirds innings of relief. Freshman Matt Revelle faced two batters and allowed a run. Brandon Ripley looked strong in his first outing of the season, not allowing a hit in his only inning of work, the eighth.
James Fender was the winner for Charleston, throwing seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
In game two, the team's traded leads with Charleston getting the last and most important run of the game in the bottom of the ninth for the 9-8 win.
Lafayette wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring in the first frame. Junior Jeff Rodgers led off the inning with a single and later scored on Craig Alexander's one-out single up the middle.
Charleston quickly tied the game, also scoring a run in its first at-bat. Brett Spivey collected a one-out double and then scored when Lee Curtis singled him in. The inning was prolonged when a Charleston runner left first base when he thought the batter had walked only to find out that the count was still 3-2. Lafayette first baseman Matt Tambellini tagged the runner out who had left the base, but the first base umpire ruled that time had been called, even though the ball was in play, and thus the runner was safe. Luckily, for the Lafayette defense, Ward had earlier picked off a runner and got the third out of the inning on a fly ball.
In the top of the third inning, the Lafayette offense got moving. Junior Jason Boyd tripled off the right field wall and plated Rosenberg who had reached on an error. Alexander then smacked a sac fly to center than brought Boyd homeward and gave Lafayette a 3-1 advantage.
The Cougars quickly re-tied the game after Brett Gardner and Brett Spivey led off the inning with singles. Curtis drove home Gardner with a sac fly and Hallett brought in the second run with a double down the left field line to knot the game, 3-3.
In the visitor fourth, Lafayette got a single from Bucci to get the inning going and another from Giglio two batters later to take a 4-3 lead. The next batter, Rosenberg, grounded to second, but the first baseman dropped the ball and allowed two more runs to score and Rosenberg to move up to second base. Boyd knocked him home with a two-out single that put Lafayette up 7-3. Boyd finished the game 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Charleston rallied to close the gap to one run in the bottom half of the sixth. Back-to-back singles started off the inning and then Curtis continued on his big day, bringing in both runners with a triple off the rightfield wall. After Hank Ficthner replaced Lafayette starter Marcus Ward, Fichtner gave up Charleston's fourth hit of the inning, a single to center that scored Curtis. Fichtner then retired the next three batters to end the inning and preserve Lafayette's 7-6 lead. Ward finished the day having allowed six runs on two strikeouts over four innings.
The Cougars tied the game, 7-7, in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Lauderdale belted a ball over the centerfield wall off Lafayette reliever Don Smith.
In the bottom of the seventh, Charleston took the lead. Hallett led of the inning with a single and was replaced with a pinch runner, Phillip Coker. Coker stole second and later advanced to third on a failed pick off attempt by Smith. He scored on a double-play ball to give Charleston the 8-7 lead.
Lafayette had a chance to tie the game in the top of the eighth. Fioretti led off with a single. The next batter, Giglio, hit a fielder's choice, and Charleston reliever Barry Richardson tried to go to second to start the double play. Fioretti beat the throw, and the Leopards were left with runners on first and second and one out. Richardson recovered and pitched two groundball outs to end the inning.
Lafayette got another chance to tie the game in the ninth, and this time, the Leopards converted. Boyd drew a lead-off walk to get the inning going. The walk prompted a pitching game that brought in reliever Tee Morris. After Tambellini pushed Boyd to second on a fielder's choice, Bucci came through with a game-tying single to centerfield.
In the home ninth, Lafayette reliever Paul Fischetti struck out the first two batters of the inning, both going down looking. Then, Adam Tolman singled up the middle to extend the inning. The next batter, Lauderdale, had an infield single to the third base side, but Boyd's throw to first was high and wide and allowed Tolman to score the winning run.
Morris (3-3), who got the save in the first game, earned the win in the second, going one inning. Fischetti took the loss, despite not giving up an earned run. He struck out three of the six batters he faced.
On Saturday, Lafayette will play another doubleheader with the College of Charleston. The first of two nine-inning games will begin at noon..